Riyadh: Citizens who have received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine are eligible to travel abroad starting from August 9, said Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Interior on Monday, July 19 in a statement.
As of now, a single dose of any approved vaccine was enough. However, to control the spread of the virus, the government has decided to tighten travel restrictions in the country.
In addition to this, vaccines will also be mandatory for citizens if they wish to gain access to public spaces, public transport, and even private spaces.
Taking the restrictions a step further, it has also been decided that only fully vaccinated people will be allowed to return to their workspaces, be it in private or public spaces.
The decision follows the preventive and precautionary measures issued by Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Health in curbing the Covid-19 virus. The statement noted that the decision also takes into account the spread of new variants and the low efficacy of just the first dose of vaccine.
The travel ban, which has been in place since March 2020, was eased on May 17, 2021, after almost 11.5 million Saudi residents received the first dose of the vaccine.
"Receiving two doses will protect against complications of the virus variants," noted the statement.
However, three categories of citizens are excluded from the requirement to be fully vaccinated to be eligible for travel. The first being children under the age of 12 with a valid health insurance policy that covers Covid-19 risks, approved by SAMA (Saudi Central Bank).
Additionally, people who recovered from the virus not more than six months ago and people who recovered from the virus and received the first dose of the vaccine are also eligible for travel.